SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) will host a mixer to help faculty members “mash up” their individual fields into meaningful new interdisciplinary courses for students. The first CTE Interdisciplinary Mashup of 2012-13 will take place 3:30-5 pm. Wednesday, Oct. 18, in the Faculty Club.
The CTE has created an online database for faculty members seeking potential teaching partners for Ways of Knowing (KNW) courses as part of SMU’s new University Curriculum (UC). Log in to Inside.SMU and click on the Match.KNW link in the left column to join.
Ways of Knowing courses explore how scholars in different academic disciplines define and address important questions or issues. Taught collaboratively by faculty from different areas and organized around a major topic or question, KNW courses are designed to help students “develop an understanding of the range of methodologies and perspectives by which different disciplines acquire, evaluate and create knowledge,” as explained in Peruna Passport, a new academic guide distributed to all incoming students. Students who enter the University under the new curriculum are required to complete one Ways of Knowing course.
The Council on the University Curriculum is meeting weekly to evaluate and approve courses for the Spring 2013 term and beyond, says Dennis Cordell, associate dean of general education and the University Curriculum. Nearly 300 courses counting toward UC requirements were approved for the Fall 2012 term.
The UC Assessment Committee – headed by Patty Alvey, director of assessment and accreditation and Richards Creative Professor in the Temerlin Advertising Institute – is working on materials that will provide guidance to faculty members for measuring student learning outcomes (SLOs). In addition, workshops on UC assessment will be available to faculty members later in the term.
The new curriculum is also an important part of Peruna Passport, which explains the UC’s elements and how they connect with one another. In addition, it provides guidance on when students should expect to enroll for key courses, as well as the learning outcomes faculty members will look for in their grade assessments.